Home Mexico Baja

Baja Pelagics Arriving On Schedule – Baja Bytes

Sea temps are slowly climbing toward the 70-degree mark on the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula, and the sea temps on the Sea of Cortez side are headed toward summer highs, attracting a host of summer pelagics that hopefully will settle in for the summer.

Que Pasa
Breeding program releases 40,000 young totoaba in Sea of Cortés
It’s part of a project to recover totoaba and vaquita porpoise populations
Saturday, July 7, 2018

As the number of vaquita porpoises declines in the Sea of Cortés, could the totoaba, another endemic and threatened species from that part of Mexico, be on the road to recovery?

More than 40,000 young totoaba were released in the Sea of Cortés this week at Santispac beach in the municipality of Mulegé. It was the fourth recorded release since 2015, but the La Paz-based non-governmental organization Earth Ocean Farms has been successfully breeding the fish species in captivity since 2013.

The organization is collaborating with the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (Semarnat), the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission (Conapesca) and the government of Baja California state on a totoaba breeding and release program.
Conapesca chief Mario Aguilar said that totoaba re population is part of a plan whose goal is the full recovery of the vaquita porpoise and finding alternatives for commercial fishermen in the upper Sea of Cortés.

Semarnat chief Rafael Pacchiano explained that the release was part of a 2018 strategy to recover totoaba and vaquita populations. “What we’re after is to control the illegal trafficking of totoaba through its sustainable exploitation, helping the towns of the upper Sea of Cortés,” he said.

The breeding in captivity of the species is to be extended to include the fishing towns of San Felipe in Baja California Sur and Santa Clara, Sonora. Pacchiano announced in February that Semarnat would set up three fish farms and provide them with a total of 300,000 totoaba offspring.

The project also includes the training of local fishermen in the breeding of the fish.

Tijuana Bull Ring

Bass fishing has been good the last couple of days as the water has cleaned up a bit, and the bait barge now has small anchovy and sardine which should get the calico fired up.
Imperial Beach has had a little better sand bass bite again today. Check the area around the Pipe and Flats up to outside the Pier for groups of suspended bass in the middle of the water column. There are some barracuda mixed through this zone.
Coronado Islands

This year has seen the best yellowtail bite in many years, if not in all time.
Sport boat scores over 100 or even 200 per boat over the past month and private boats did equally as well. Limits were easy, which was common.
Now dirty water is rolling into the islands and has slowed the bite. There are big spots of open water yellows north to northwest of the islands. See the offshore section for more on this.

North Island at Pukey Point has been a regular producer and has been one of the better spots recently.

If the water is clean the Middle Grounds, Ribbon Kelp, Light House Kelp, South Kelp and from SKR to the Rockpile, the areas are very much worth looking at as all have produced big scores.

You can locate schools by watching for birds and meter marks in all of these areas. Trolling Rapalas/Halcos/Yo-Zuris is also an excellent way to cover some ground while forcing yourself to slow down and look for marks and life. There are quite a few bonito scattered all through the islands.

**** ATTENTION ****
Some guys are fishing much too close to the tuna pens in the lee of South Island; there are reports that some boats are tying up to them.

Guys, this is ILLEGAL! You must stay at least 250 meters (820 feet) away from them. If you don’t, you are at risk of losing your boat and landing in a Mexican jail. …fishdope.com
Click here for more details on this subject

Border / Lower 9

Boats were finding some signs of yellowfin but what they were mostly finding was big spots of breezing yellowtail. Some fish were willing to bite, while some just ignored the chum and hook bait.

West of the 226-302 and out to the Corner
Big bluefin and some random yellowfin are the catches for this area. The bite is picky at best though.

A few yellowfin came on the troll, while the bluefin were found as jumpers, and a few foamers, and on sonar marks. Best zone appeared to be in the 5- to 10-mile block.

Fished today with Jeff Yoon and we ended up catching four yellowtail and a few barracuda. The bay is loaded with anchovies!

Everywhere you looked there were huge bait balls of anchovies with hundreds of yellowtail swimming and chasing them. We made cast after cast right in the middle of breaking fish.

Very cool to see and to catch as well…It’s 4 Reels Sportfishing

San Quintin

Enough said — it’s slow except bottom fishing.

Bahia Ascension
I went out fishing yesterday. The water conditions are starting to look good now, and I think another three degrees in water temp will set off the yellowtail fishing.
The water was flat calm and no wind, so I decided to head out to the 100 Fathom Curve and check for offshore life and to see if there was any temperature change out there. On the way, I happened upon a bump in 60-fathoms of water that came up to 44 fathoms. I could see fish on my sonar, so I dropped a mega-bait down to check it out. It turned out to be a large area of fish, and I drifted for over a half-hour between 44 and 50-fathoms, and the whole area was covered with rockfish.

There were some areas where the fish were stacked-up for 15-fathoms from the bottom. It seemed that the bigger fish were on the bottom, but I had a hard time getting the mega-bait past the smaller suspended fish. Every drop yielded a starry, chili pepper, copper, or bocaccio. I kept a couple for tacos and moved on. Oh, and a “barnicalized” bungie cord…Ross Zoerhof

Cedros Island
Report pending…Jeff Mariani, Cedros Tackle

San Felipe
I drove down with the family today. Got in the water about 6 p.m. and had the first bite within 10 seconds trolling a Rapala. Got four fish in 45 minutes. Anyone know what this is?

Bahia de Los Angeles

I spent 32 days in BOLA and fished 26 of them with many of my friends. The fishing and catching were outstanding. There were fish everywhere, lots of yellowtail from fire crackers to 35-pounds plus. The cabrilla fishing was spectacular on most days. I had many trips of a life time this June. It has been that good…Captain Juan Cook


Punta Chivato

Headed north now. Road report road north of Puertecitos  being repaired many miles.  Fished bay of L A. For limits of Cabrilla types.

However most pangas came in loaded with yellows and grouper.  Bait out front of casa Diaz. Macs.   As you know the Vag tourney a big success…Craig & Theresa Cove


Fishin for the Mission wrap-up

This year’s tournament saw some nice Dorado return to Loreto. 2 fish were weighed in over 35-pounds and another one at 30-pounds with most teams weighing in fish for a great competition. Team Baja Invader VI of Joe and David Depillo,

Bob Wheaton, and Julio Martinez fished with captain Rigo Martinez and finished first with a 35.5 and a 18.4-pound dorado.

Team Baja Invader IV of Earl Roberts, his wife Fabiola, and kids Luis Alfonso and Mia Catalina finished in Second with the big fish of the tournament caught by Fabiola of 37.4-pounds and their second fish was 8.3-pounds.

Team Cola Blanca of Dennis Cox, Carlton King, Tim Allen, and Ken Stills found a 29.9-pounder and a 10.5 on day 2 to lock up 3rd place.

The other species class saw a huge cabrilla of 25.8-pounds and a 23.4-pound yellowtail take home first place for team Colorado of Ron Kotarski and Jeff Schrage fishing on Rene Olinger’s Baja Peniinsula Adventures panga Nautilus with Captain Paco Collins. Each year the charity tournament raises about $10,000 for the Mission and town of Loreto and is a fun tournament with great prizes and a lot of fun for friends or families…Chris Wheaton, Tournament Director

It looks like this year’s massive load of bait fish has influenced the return of big dorado.

The first day’s results at this year’s “Fishin for the Mission” tournament turned up a “big boy” weighing just under 38-pounds. Dorado in the 15- to 20-pound range were common.

Many of the boats catching big numbers of dorado were working close to town, but many of the fish were “dinks,” only 12 to 18-inches. Sardina did the most damage with trolled feathers and jet heads coming in a far-off second.

The big yellowtail bite up north is forgotten, and as far as the billfish go, they too are off the radar. Conditions look great for dorado fishing down the road when the August and September versions are hitting the decks. That possibility is boosted by all the bait we have in the water and under the sargasso paddies.

Many paddies are small, about the size of your front door mats, but many we have been sliding up on look as though several boats dumped their bait wells there.
Hold tight for next week’s action!

We had a gut-hooked small dorado about 20-inches-long; when opened for inspection, breakfast was more than I thought possible and it gave a clue as to how much easy eating is available out on the water.

baja pelagics
I have a photo that tells a lot about dorado, but might be best as an educational aid; how much does a young dorado eat? One good-sized flying fish and four sardina, not counting the fatal one intended as dessert…Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

Greetings! On Tuesday we spotted “oodles” of marlin and had some good luck. We spotted around 22 or 23 sunning themselves up on the surface and got to watch a group of three and another group of two which was fun since they usually travel in singles. We managed to jump three, and I landed one; at one point we had a double hook-up which happened while we were trolling for dorado. We also caught about a half-dozen, small dorado each, with one weighing about 20-pounds.

Today, Thursday, was kind of slow but I need to qualify that by saying “for dorado.” While we were trolling flies, I caught and landed one big, beautiful marlin weighing around 120-pounds. Other boats had a decent day, all landing two or three marlin and 20 or 25 dorado on cast flies. We remain grateful for flat seas and wonderful crew…Carl Blackiedge

Solid day two in the Fishin for the Mission tournament. Caught a bunch of dorado, just not the size we were hoping for, so we went for the “Other Species” category getting Third Place….Outpost Charters

La Paz

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for the week of July 1-8, 2018

East Cape
baja pelagicsJust a quick report before we get back on the water. This past week has seen action for a variety of species. Good-sized tuna have been chewing on trolled live bait close to the shore. There have also been a good number of willing eaters outside on the porpoise. Some decent-sized dorado have also shown up. Hoping to see more in the coming weeks in the build-up to the Dorado Shootout. Wahoo action was also on the uptick this week with most coming on Rapala Xrap Magnums. Although the billfish were more spread out this week, there were still a good amount of releases of striped marlin, blue marlin, and sailfish…Scorpion Sportfishing-Matt Clifton

baja pelagicsA 65# amberjack caught today! Where? Here, with the best…Anibal Miranda

The best dorado bite so far this year.

Puerto Los Cabos

Anglers were using a mix of sardina, caballito, mullet, and sardineta for bait. Most common areas now being concentrated on have been from Palmilla, straight of San Jose Estuary and marina area, and north towards Iman, San Luis, and Vinorama Banks. There were large concentrations of baitfish holding straight offshore of the Puerto Leo Cabos Marina, three to five miles out.

This is the area where decent numbers of striped marlin were being found, most often by drift fishing bait down deeper. With the full moon, these fish were a bit more finicky, but with patience, most charters had chances daily. This same area saw more dorado moving in as well. Slow trolling bait on the surface was the best bet for these fish; there were no big numbers, but many charters did report landing one, two or three fish, with weighing up to 15-pounds.

baja pelagics
Larry Edwards catch, also released striped marlin. On San Luis Bank using live caballito.

The San Luis Bank was the other popular ground for fishing where there was good early morning action for Eastern Pacific bonito and red snapper while working yo-yo jigs. The problem at this spot, however, was that there were way too many hungry sharks lurking; they would readily strike the yo-yo jigs, as well as any fish that you hooked — both frustrating and a fast way to lose a lot of lures in a hurry.

Early in the week, a few yellowfin tuna was also hitting bait or yo-yo jigs on the same grounds; one tuna close to 80-pounds was taken, and others were lost. The best chances at yellowfin recently have been farther offshore, found moving with porpoise and changing location from day to day. Most days they were found 15- to 25-miles offshore, though late in the week some were as close in as seven miles. These fish required that boats cover a lot of water, trolling medium-sized feathers, hoochies, and cedar plugs, and the sizes averaged 12 to 18-pounds.

Inshore action for roosterfish and jack crevalle slowed down, more spread out, but some fish were found, even a handful of late season sierra…Eric Brictson

Cabo San Lucas

Numbers at a glance: Billfish 33%, tuna 71%, dorado 12%, other species 3%.

Summer is officially here. Hot temperatures are moving in to Cabo, with tuna numbers officially at a high this week, and dorado numbers are steadily increasing. Those looking for marlin are still quite successful, with a maximum of up to four stripers caught per boat.

Small game catches have consisted only of a few roosterfish and skipjack. …Pisces Sportfishing

LOCATION: 180 Spot and south of Old Lighthouse, Sea of Cortes side: Palmilla, Cabo Real, Tule.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear sunny skies, calm seas.


BEST LURES: Cedar plugs and feather lures, followed by caballito or sardina.

Mainland Mexico
baja pelagics

Previous articleAccurate Introduces Its New Valiant Rod Line
Next articleThe Race To Costa Rica – A Dream Trip Come True
Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world records and in his first year as a member of the Tuna Club of Avalon, he received more angling awards than any other first-year member in the club's 109-year history. He's been involved with many California angling clubs and is the Baja California Representative for the International Game Fish Association. 
Gary's a conservationist as well as a writer and photographer. In addition to two books on saltwater fly-fishing, hundreds of his articles and photographs have appeared in publications around the world. Graham has devoted his life to finding new fisheries and developing new techniques — all of which he shares through his guiding, speaking, photography and writing.